Urban Fold

How Far Does Gentrification Go?

New studies explore, as well as challenge, the notion of displacement in gentrifying neighborhoods.

New studies, such as one from Lance Freeman and Frank Braconi, suggest that "displacement is not all that widespread--and in fact may not disrupt many people's lives." In looking at the rate of displacement in NYC in the 1990's, Braconi and Freeman discovered that "poor residents in gentrifying neighborhoods were actually less likely to move than poor residents in nongentrifying neighborhoods. The authors assert: " 'Neighborhoods are changing more as a result of replacement, where people who are leaving are being replaced by more-affluent neighbors.' " These studies present "such a break from conventional wisdom in the housing field that the Fannie Mae Foundation commissioned a follow-up study due out early this year." The Fannie Mae report argues that government subsidies and rent-control programs, many of which are being phased out, played an integral role in precluding displacements in those neighborhoods.

Thanks to Connie Chung

Full Story: Two cheers for the urban pioneers

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